Thursday, June 30, 2016

57% Spike in Post-Brexit Hate Crimes, UK Report Confirms
A member of the right-wing English Defense League shouts at police escorting Muslim demonstrators in London. | Photo: AFP

29 June 2016

Most of the attackers are between 13 and 18 years old, attacking women with visibly Muslim clothing.

Hate incidents rose 57 percent in Britain in the four-day fallout after voters decided to leave the European Union, and public hate crimes against Muslims rose 326 percent in 2015, according to new reports.

Most of the perpetrators in 2015 were between 13 and 18 years old, reported U.K. monitoring group Tell MAMA, attacking women with visibly Muslim clothing.

The findings “suggest that some teenagers are being radicalized and are moving away from the mainstream views of their age group, who are much more multicultural in their orientation,” said the report, released Monday.

While much of harassment is on social media, a common site of radicalization, the increase only counted crimes committed on the streets, especially in schools and on public transportation.

Bystanders did not intervene, according to many of the over 800 verified cases of harassment, painting a “ profoundly bleak picture,” said Shahid Malik, chair of Tell MAMA and a former Labour minister.

“This exponential growth is a testament to the fact that despite great efforts to fight anti-Muslim hatred, as a society we are still failing far too many of our citizens. With the backdrop of the Brexit vote and the spike in racist incidents that seems to be emerging, the government should be under no illusions, things could quickly become unpleasant for Britain’s minorities” said Malik.

Threats have risen so dramatically that some women said they had to change their daily routine, while an earlier report recorded that they are also changing their clothing and social media activity.

Tell MAMA compiles police records and reports made directly to the organization, but it acknowledges that many do not report for fear of retribution and appearing weak to their communities.

The National Police Chiefs' Council counted a 57 percent spike in online hate crime reporting between Thursday, the day of the referendum vote, and Sunday from the same period a month before, and the Muslim Council of Britain registered 100 hate crimes only over the weekend—12.5 percent of crimes during all of 2015.

A new group, Post Ref Racism, was created following the referendum to record the dramatic spike in crimes following the vote to leave the EU. Reports to Tell MAMA often note that slurs are race-based, according to the group.

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